Our Student Screening Process

The GEL Approach

The GEL Approach to academic and ADHD/EF coaching, including the Student Screening Process, is built to support sustainable behavior change.

At GEL, our emphasis in coaching is on the process students are using to manage their academic demands. This means that rather than fixating on a particular outcome (say, all As and Bs in their classes by the end of the term), a student works with their coach to create replicable processes that help them successfully meet their academic demands – now and for the future. We know that with a solid, consistent process comes results students feel proud of.

Positive Habits = Better Results

Our greatest success comes when our students don’t need us anymore. When they feel confident and equipped to handle any academic challenge, we know our mission has been accomplished and it’s time for them to be independent.

But changing habits is hard – and it doesn’t happen overnight. Through coaching, our students gain insight about their own behavior patterns and what they need to do to counteract old, ineffective ways of working.

Any sort of lasting behavior change you can think of, whether it’s better fitness, better nutrition, or better work habits, requires a consistent approach. It’s hard to imagine increasing your bench-press weight without frequent practice. Likewise, coaching provides the structure for consistency and accountability that students with ADHD often find so challenging to do on their own.

creating behavior change

Because of the difficulties with creating behavior change, GEL firmly believes that students see the best results when the desire for change comes from the student themselves and not from someone else, such as a parent or a teacher. Research into behavior change is very clear that change is less likely to happen when individuals feel coerced or told they need to change versus determining the need to change on their own.
The following are several indicators that a student is open to behavior change. When students:

Are You Ready For Change?

We are committed to helping all our students achieve the success they desire. But not every student is ready for coaching. This is why we screen prospective students to determine how ready they are to embrace a different way of working.

Before moving forward with coaching, we ask all our students these three questions:

While virtually every student would like excellent grades, not every student is open to changing their behavior to achieve excellent grades.

Likewise, some students are not open to using new tools and strategies and are instead fixated on doing things the way they have always done them.

Over our many years of working with students, we know that not everyone is open to engaging with the coaching process. Whether they perceive it as proof of failure or they prefer to figure it all out on their own, students who aren’t ready for coaching are not a good fit for our services. Without a “yes” to our screening questions above, we don’t move forward with the process. That would be a breach of our ethics in how we serve our students and families.

We Are Ready When You Are

Fortunately, “not ready” can sometimes mean “not ready right now”  for some students. What can turn the tide? It can be a conversation with a trusted adult who shares their own struggles and how support helped them. It can be a disappointment stemming from poor performance that prompts desire for change. Whatever the catalyst, students can shift from “no way” to “I’m in” when their self-awareness is awakened.

We have many success stories of students who initially were a poor fit for coaching but who underwent a change of heart and decided it was in their best interests to gain the skills they needed to achieve what was most meaningful to them. At GEL, the door is always open to students who later decide that coaching is right for them.


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